Confessions of an Organizer – Growing up organized

December 15, 2009

How many times did I re-organize my closet? Well, lots. I also lined up my Barbies perfectly. While the neighbour kids were playing kick the can, I was inside organizing the cans in the kitchen cupboards. Okay, not everytime, but I LOVED organizing the cupboards. The best part was that I did get an allowance for it. So,when I grew up  I started my own business as a Professional Organizer. I now get an allowance to organize the cupboards of all my wonderful clients. It’s just a bit more than one dollar.

Clean out those cupboards and donate unused, non-expired cans to your local Food Bank.


Confessions of an Organizer – Another set of eyes

December 8, 2009

Sometimes clients will hire a Professional Organizer because they need to view their space through another set of eyes. I’ve been in many homes in differnent stages of disarray. Most of the time clients feel that they don’t know where to start, and they think that their current organizational system is the only system to fit their space. Most clients are really surprised that some new suggestions and original organizational designs become the solutions they were looking for. They find that the little investment in hiring a Professional Organizer was completely worth it.

Confessions of an Organizer – Can I donate shampoo to charity?

December 2, 2009

Many of my clients purchase items 3 or 4 times, not knowing that they already have these items  in the home.

When there are too many shampoos, conditioners, creams and pieces of soap cluttering my clients bathrooms, I suggest giving them to local charities. Many women’s shelters or homeless shelters will take half-full containers.

Next time you go to the bathroom, look around. What can you give to charity?

Mix it up!

November 27, 2009


Quick and easy cleaning solution:

Combine 3 parts warm water with 1 part baking soda. With a damp sponge, rub the paste on laminate counters or stainless steel

A Little Reminder From Feng Shui

November 27, 2009

Have a lack in your life?  Try working on your physical space to receive some good quality energy.  If you’re low on love, start on your bedroom by following these tips to create some more flow.

Easy steps to create flow in the bedroom:

  1. De-clutter. Try to eliminate needless items by putting things away or by getting rid of them all together (can link to the other article here).
  2. Invest in a good solid headboard.
  3. Display images of love and beauty. Remember, most birds mate for life!
  4. Installs tables with round corners – these are good for flow.
  5. Paint walls a warm or skin-toned colour to soothe and relax.
  6. Remove work items such as laptops and file folders from the bedroom.
  7. Do not face mirrors toward your bed.
  8. Make your bedroom your oasis and let the flow go.


November 27, 2009


Any clean surface can be painted with chalk paint – chalk allows you to label (and relabel) the item to keep you more organized.

What you need:

•Chalk paint (spray can)
•Rubber Gloves
•Sand paper
•Painters tape
•Chalk eraser

1.Make sure the surface is clean, use a light sand paper over the surface.
2.Tape off any area of the surface you don’t want to get paint on.
3.Use a Spray can of chalk paint in a well ventilated area.
4.Follow instructions on the can.
5.Enjoy the space as art or for information.


Working Late AGAIN?

November 17, 2009

Sometimes the hardest part about work is not completing tasks and meeting deadlines, but the act of getting out the door on time. When was the last time you left work on time? If you always leave when the clock strikes done, there’s no point in reading on, but I’ve found that a lot of people struggle to ‘clock out’ on time.

It may not seem like a big deal to spend an hour or two extra at work every once in a while (or every day), but if you learn to leave on time you’ll gain back that one precious resource that everyone is striving for – TIME, personal, free, time.

So, how do you get yourself some free time?  Well, here are a few suggestions:

1. Goals: At the beginning of each day, ask yourself:  “what do I need to accomplish by the end of today to make myself feel good about leaving on time?” Set a goal and stick to it.

1. Start everything with the end in mind. Basically, know what the finishing line will look like.  Ask yourself, “do I want this project completed? Or, is it OK to break off a chunk and do only that today?” Trust yourself and time- block the project by starting and finishing by your projected markers.

2. Learn to say no. Social committees, projects that are not yours, and cake in the lunch room can take up a lot of time that you could spend in a more meaningful manner with people who are important to you.  Be selective and be firm.

I know that saying “NO” can be difficult in some circumstances, and especially in the workplace, but over committing is hard on YOU.

Here are some good lines to help you say no with grace:

Social committee: ” I’d be happy to assist or comment on events through an email or two, but committing to meetings would be difficult for me because I have to focus on “A and B” projects right now. Thanks.

Projects – “I’m over-committed right now, and if I take on your project I won’t be able to do the project justice.  Thanks for thinking of me, though”

Cake? Sure….where????

Remember, you’ll be a more effective employee, colleague and leader if you show up at work re-charged and enthusiastic.  Down time is important to your health and to your career, so pay attention to your boundaries by saying no!

Productivity Complaints

October 26, 2009

Productivity is a hot topic these days. The subject comes up on  many websites, blogs, and discussion boards. You could become a productivity geek if you wanted, but that wouldn’t be very productive, would it?

As a professional organizer, I hear my clients talk a lot about productivity (or more commonly, a lack of productivity).   There are usually three main complaints:

  1. I don’t have time to finish projects that are due.
  2. I never get my “to do” list done.
  3. I feel like I never have anything accomplished at the end of the day.

Over the years I’ve developed a few responses to these complaints and I’d like to share them with you.


I don’t have time to finish projects that are due.
Time blocking rocks for projects. Learn it.  Simply block segments of time off each day for certain projects, tasks and deadlines.  It might seem counter-intuitive to take time to plan time, but once you gain the benefits of long, uninterrupted periods of time to actually put your head down and work on projects, you’ll look forward to your planning sessions.  Trust me.

Still unsure about what time blocking really means?  Here’s an example.

You want to do a few marketing-related tasks.  Specifically, you want to go on Twitter, update Facebook and create a small blog.  Great! Now time block.  Set aside one hour each day and make sure that you use that time for the allotted tasks.  When the hour is up, you can move on to the next part of the day.  Now,  go get blocking.

I never get my “to do” list done.
There are many ways to conquer your “to do” lists. Making a list of  everything you have to do is the obvious starting point. Then, start with the most urgent task and work from there.

Work your way through your tasks and check in on your list from time to time. At the end of the day, the things you didn’t finish will transfer to the next day. You can either do this electronically or with a paper calendar.  The important things to remember are to stay focused on the tasks and to concentrate on your priorities.

If you want to be even more organized, you can prioritize your tasks with a labeling system.    Label the most important tasks with an “A” and the least important tasks with a “C.”

To-do lists don’t do it for you? Reframe, the productivity system that I co-created, has a different spin on the “to do” list. Check it out.

I didn’t get anything done today.
At the end of each day, spend 15 minutes thinking about the word ‘gratitude’ by asking yourself some key questions.

For example, ask yourself:  what did I accomplish today that I’m grateful for? To answer, you can start by looking at your ‘to do’ list. What did you mark off?  You’ll probably be surprised by how much you did get done.

The exercise here is to be nice to yourself.  I’ve never met anyone with a fully completed “to do” list.   Once you gain some peace around the fact that nobody can get everything  done,  the stress will melt away.

Today I’m grateful to all my clients for trusting me enough to let me know what’s bothering them.  I hope my suggestions help.

Look for Empty Space

October 26, 2009

Wine Bottles in WindowIf you are challenged by storage space, try thinking about the space that’s actually right in front of you.

All open wall spaces
Mount shelves to store books or knick-knacks that are cluttering up essential surface space.

Backs of doors
Hang up shopping bags and aprons on doors in the kitchen.  Find a new home for your kids’ raincoats and rarely-used painting smocks in the bedroom.

Underneath beds
Store seasonal items that do not require frequent access.


  • Keep travel accessories and seasonal shoes in an out-of-the way space.  Attach a temporary label to the suitcase so you know what you’ve stored.

Under shelf baskets

  • Store binders or rarely used books.

Unique storage solution

October 6, 2009
Itouch case

Itouch case

Use your ipod or itouch boxes for storing concert tickets.

Thinking inside the box.